Moving with the cat

How to appease your offended feline

At the beginning there was chaos and all cats hate chaos. Although cats may not apply the same strict standards to themselves when they break a cup or energetically go about rearranging the contents of a shelf, they expect their humans to ensure that everything stays the same.

Depending on temperament, cats will hide when the moving boxes start piling up and no piece of furniture is where it used to be. Or they make their protest known. They attack the open boxes, getting under the feet of their human companions who are working so hard and cause them to trip and generally putting themselves in life-threatening situations. The very sensitive amongst cats will stick to their person come flood and high water, whine softly and seek out body contact.

Make it easier on yourself and the felines

Choose a room to be cleared last or which needs little dismantling. Put the cat’s favourite bed in that room together with a food bowl and a water dish and the litter tray. Now pack up everything and ensure that the cat furniture (cat bed, cushion, scratching post, other bowls, toys, food)is the first thing to be unpacked in the new home. It is imperative to use the old and familiar cat things, do not use new ones. Your feline will need a sanctuary after the move where he or she can relax.

For the actual move, put the cat in a carrier. In the new home, allow the cat first to explore the furnished room with the familiar cat items.

At your new home

Only when your new home is ready and the cat cannot disappear or get hurt, allow him or her to explore. Stay with your cat in those first scary moments, and encourage her to play with the familiar furry play mice or balls. Observe your cat closely: Is the cat’s body relaxed or is the cat clearly tense? If the former is the case, offer some really tasty treat, if possible at the future eating spot. In the latter case, sit down quietly on a chair and radiate peace until your little bundle of nerves has calmed down somewhat.

Outdoor cats should not be allowed outside for 14 days or only taken on short supervised walks. After that time, you can allow the cat outside unsupervised for short periods of time, starting with a hour. Always feed your cat when it returns home, and initially do not allow the cat to go outside after a good feed.

I N F O R M A T I O N

Moving with Cats Check-list
Prior to the move, get the cat used to being in the carrier. Check every box before closing it. Cats love to hide in them. Do not feed your cat on the day of the move as stress can upset the cat’s stomach. Despite all the mayhem and hassle, take some time to cuddle your cat. In the first days after the move leave your cat in peace as much as possible.